Japan and Singapore air forces train with USAF B-1 bombers and more

Two B-1B Lancer bombers operated by the United States Air Force 345th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, arrived at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore on 18 January as part of the regular training and engagements with key partners in the region, according to the US Pacific Command (PACOM).

The Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) noted that the B-1Bs arrived in Singapore for a stopover and conducted air-to-air refuelling training with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)’s Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).

“Over the years, the RSAF has facilitated aircraft stopovers from various countries,” stated MINDEF. “These provide the RSAF valuable training and professional exchange opportunities with different aircraft and aircrew.”

Prior to their arrival in Singapore, the B-1Bs also conducted bilateral training with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) over the Sea of Japan. The JASDF deployed four of its Boeing F-15 aircraft from the Chitose-based 2nd Air Wing and Misawa-based Northern Aircraft Control and Warning Wing.

PACOM noted that the training opportunity with the JASDF was designed “to enhance deterrence & response capabilities.

Separately around 10 USAF F-35 Joint Strike Fighters conducted joint training with multiple JASDF aircraft off Okinawa on 17 and 19 January.

The two-day exercise involved 27 JASDF F-15s, an E-767 and two E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning and control aircraft, as well as two KC-46A Pegasus air-to-air refuelling aircraft.

According to the JASDF, the training was aimed at improving bilateral response capabilities and tactical skills.

by Jr Ng